Keep It Simple: Mass Texting Rules You Must Follow

By Kristen Vanstrom

With every marketing tactic comes a list of best practices. Follow these, and you'll experience mass texting success.

Texting is ingrained into our social norms. We text everyone from family members to friends and co-workers. Even business-to-customer contact is carried out through texting. Despite its part of daily lives, too many texts [especially from a business] can be overwhelming. 

As a business owner, can you integrate texting into your marketing plan without driving customers crazy? That's up to you.

More than 90 percent of all text messages are opened and read within five minutes or less. This presents a huge opportunity for any business owner looking to immediately push out a promotion. Listed below are just a few mass texting rules you must follow.

1. Keep it relevant to the recipient

Don't fire out a random text. You want contacts to be expecting these messages, and then act accordingly.

For example, say you're in charge of communications at your church and develop a list of contacts that want text alerts about church events. You can easily keep your congregation in the loop, and instantly alert churchgoers about any service changes. If you segment this list into different subgroups; such as youth members, ladies' bible study, etc., your messages to contacts will be extremely relevant. This will then increase campaign engagement.

2. Create a messaging schedule

Off-the-cuff messages are a complete waste. Unless it's an urgent matter (i.e. severe weather alert), you want to compose all text campaigns at least a couple weeks in advance. This gives you time to review the offer and/or message and make sure it's relevant to your audience.

With most major group texting services, message scheduling is available. Take advantage of this feature. As a best practice, I recommend scheduling out all campaigns a month in advance. 

3. Respect the time of day

Would you want to receive a message at 11 p.m. on a Thursday night? Probably not. If you have to rise and shine the next day for an eight-hour shift, you're really not thinking about what kind of mobile deals you can run across in the midnight hour. If you regularly invade the quiet time of subscribers, people will no longer want to engage. They'll ignore your messages, or even unsubscribe altogether. 

4. Don't bombard contacts 

Whatever the purpose of your message or campaign, get right to the point. Stay focused, and keep the message as simple as possible. If you must communicate back and forth with contacts, stay on topic. For example, let's say you own a dress boutique. You text out a promotion, and one contact replies. Instead of hashing out the details via text, take the conversation to the phone, and provide immediate customer service. 

What are the benefits of group texting?

  1. As stated above, the open rate is astronomically greater than any other in the digital marketing industry.
  2. It's incredibly cost effective. You pay fractions of a penny per text. Not many business owners will say that's something they can't afford. 
  3. Text messaging isn't going anywhere. Try to remember the last time you didn't open a text message.

Group texting campaign examples

 

Run a poll

There's nothing better than customer research. It can help you narrow down promotions, decide which marketing channels to use, and so on. When you send out your first group texting poll, include 3-5 possible answers. Keep them simple, as this will encourage a faster response. If you overcomplicate the answer selection, your response rate will be low. As far as the question you ask, make sure it's one that will provide value to your research department.

Ask a question

Questions encourage 2-way conversations. If you want to engage in back and forth messaging with customers or contacts, spark up a conversation using a simple question that borderline guarantees a reply. Don't make it too complicated, as contacts will shy away from anything that requires a lengthy response.

Send out a limited time offer

With all mass texting offers, you must create a sense of urgency. That can come in the form of limited quantities or a limited time offer. For example, if you fire out an irresistible deal, put a 48-hour redemption cap on this offer. If you want to push a product, but don't want to clear out your entire inventory, limit redemptions to the first 25 customers. 

Not quite sold on the entire mass texting concept?

Here are a few final statistics that will blow your mind.

  • The average American looks at his or her cell phone 150+ times a day.
  • Over 22 percent of all text offers are forwarded to family and friends.
  • The average redemption rate of a mobile coupon is 20%.
  • Over 70 percent of Americans say they would like to receive mobile discounts from their favorite businesses

It's not just businesses that use mass texting. Thousands of organizations nationwide use this tool for internal communication. Schools utilize this channel for closing and cancellation alerts. Churches keep all congregation members in the loop with one simple text.

 

Photo credit: EpicStockMedia/Shutterstock

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